Chair| Ann DEGRAEVE, Belgium
In recent years, the role of building archaeology within the discipline of urban archaeology has gradually increased, enhancing the appreciation of the value and significance of the built heritage of our cities, and thus generating recognition by the conservation specialists and heritage management agencies.
The discipline first developed during the restoration phases of large historical monuments and gradually included the study of vernacular architecture, much more subject to frequent and profound transformations due to the evolution of fashion and customs, the shift from family group to mononuclear families, etc.
Although born in traditional archaeology and therefore using the same archaeological approach, from the data acquisition up to the final phasing with, amongst others, vertical and horizontal stratigraphical analysis, the decryption of the perturbations and the utilisation of a relative chronology, the discipline has developed its own methodology for the standing structures, thus allowing the building archaeologist to record, analyse, date and present his research in new ways.
Specific research concerns the use of building materials and mortars, plastering, wallpaper and decorative elements, the chronotypology for characteristic architectural elements and building techniques, metric chronology (e.g. brick-dimensions-chronology), the contribution of dendrochronology, relative chronology versus absolute dating methods, techniques in data acquisition ranging from conventional drawing to photogrammetry and ground-based remote sensing and to the use of computer models for data visualisation.
Papers should present innovative research concerning the methodology in recording of our built heritage and the use of scientific and technological instruments in the description, analysis and dating of building materials and architectural structures.